Top Two Claim 25% Share

Countrywide Home Loans and Wells Fargo Home Mortgage had a combined servicing market share of 25.53% at year-end, the first time ever that two firms controlled more than one-quarter of the nation's housing receivables.

The No. 1 ranked Countrywide serviced $1.11 trillion in home mortgages at year-end, a 33% increase from the same period a year ago, according to exclusive survey figures compiled by National Mortgage News and the Quarterly Data Report.

WFHM serviced just over $1 trillion with a growth rate of 29%. It also marks the first time ever that two firms have more that $1 trillion in receivables on their books.

The servicing figures for Countrywide and WFHM include all residential loan types, including first and second liens, conventional, subprime, jumbo, alt-A and other products. (It also includes subservicing contracts.)

The Calabasas, Calif.-based Countrywide had the strongest growth rate among the top 10 servicers. WFHM, which is based in San Francisco, had the second strongest growth rate among the top 10.

However, among the top 30, Wachovia, Charlotte, N.C., and American Home Mortgage, Melville, N.Y., had even faster growth - with 94% and 83%, respectively.

Just two firms among the top 30 - HSBC Mortgage, Depew, N.Y., and Regions Mortgage, Montgomery, Ala. - had negative growth in the quarter.

The figures collected by NMN/QDR show that the servicing market is continuing its march toward consolidation - with fewer firms controlling more of the market than ever before. (The top five servicers, as a group, control almost 47% of all loans.)

The residential production market has consolidated as well, but market share figures can be misleading because lenders use three channels to produce loans - retail, wholesale and correspondent. Also, the number of firms actually funding loans has grown in recent years, according to Home Mortgage Disclosure Act figures compiled by the Federal Reserve.

SNAPSHOT: Servicing Share Grows for Top 5

Period Mkt Share Dollar Vol.

4Q '05 46.69% $3,869

4Q '04 42.73% $3,273

SOURCE: MSN/Quarterly Data Report

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